According to Luckyscent, Ramon Monegal's Cuirelle is on the very masculine part of the gender spectrum. I have no idea what they're talking about (said with lots of love for the store and site where I'd be happy to drop the yearly budget of a small nation). Yes, Cuirelle has a very distinct suede note and a cedarwood backbone, but this honeyed gem from Barcelona-based perfumer Ramon Monegal smells and feels very gender-neutral to me, in the same way of Chergui or Daim Blond.
The first thing I smell in Cuirelle is suede, surrounded by a funky oilier form of leather that becomes sweeter and warmer within minutes. The green cedarwood makes its first appearance by adding a strong and sharp contrast that's very lively and makes one pay attention. There's a floral hint there and I could swear I smell violets, though there's no mention of that in the official note list. Still, it's there, giving me goosebumps as I'm reminded for a second of vintage Jolie Madame. But, no, Cuirelle doesn't go that way. Instead, the suede and leather sink into the background where they become more of an abstract idea.
As Cuirelle develops, it becomes a sensual honey-and-skin scent. Yes, there's patchouli and wood for depth, but for me it's all about the beeswax and musk. The sweetness is very moderate. Ramon Monegal kept the honey in check, so it won't smother you (and no, it smells nothing like Miel de Bois. No need for pitchforks). At times I keep getting more hints of the suede-and-violet accord, which is just as pleasing. I suspect that spraying (unlike careful dabbing from a sample) will reveal more of this play on contrasts. In any case, Cuirelle is softer and far less dirty/animalic than Monegal's Mon Cuir, so it's worth a try even if you're not usually a leather fan.
Notes: Somali incense, Indonesian patchouli, bourbon vetiver, green cedar wood, cinnamon, extract of beeswax.
Ramon Monegal- Cuirelle ($185, 50ml EDP) is available from Luckyscent, Bergdorf Goodman and select Neiman Marcus locations (in Europe ramonmonegal.com as well as exclusive perfume stores). The sample for this review was sent to me by the company.
Art: Love's Manifest by Sabzi.